Thursday, April 23, 2009

#8 Brown Pelican vs. #9 Northern Pintail

Brown Pelican

  • When a Brown Pelican is draining water from its bill after a dive, gull are known to try to steal the fish that the pelican has caught. They have even been observed sitting on the pelican's head to get to the bill.
  • Brown Pelicans incubate their eggs by holding them with the webbing between their toes. They are essentially standing on the eggs to keep them warm. This made them very susceptible to DDT which made the egg shells thinner and caused the adults to crack their own eggs.
  • The race of Brown Pelicans found along the western coast of South America are sometimes considered a separate species. They are bigger than the Brown Pelicans in the United States and have a blue pouch during the breeding season.
  • Brown Pelicans can hold up to 3 gallons of water and fish in their pouches.
  • Brown Pelicans consume up to 4 pounds of fish per day. Contrary to what many fishermen believe, they do not compete with the fishermen due to the types of fish that they eat.

Click here to view more information on Brown Pelicans.

For pictures of Brown Pelicans, click here.

Northern Pintail

  • Northern Pintails are one of the earliest nesting ducks in North America. They can be found nesting very shortly after ice melts in many northern locations.
  • Island populations have evolved over time and become separate species. The Eaton's Pintail of the southern Indian Ocean is one example.
  • Although the Northern Pintail is very widespread, there are no subspecies.
  • The Latin name acuere mean "sharpen." Of course this is referring to the pointed tail of the male.
  • This species has suffered a 30% decline over the long-term. This has been caused by many forces but avian diseases seem to be one of the main culprits.

Click here to view more information on Northern Pintails.

For pictures of Northern Pintails, click here.

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